Tag Archives: Time

Time is merciless

As much as I enjoy becoming an old man — something neither of my parents were allowed to do — I must admit a certain trepidation over at least one element of old age.

My peers are leaving this good Earth, seemingly at an increasing pace.

Mom died at 61; Dad died at 59. I am about to turn 73. I would much rather be among the living than cavorting with them, wherever they are. But, dang! — it’s tough to hear about individuals I know personally, contemporaries of mine, who have gone on to their great reward.

Just this week, I learned of a former journalism colleague who died of a heart attack. We managed to stay in touch via social media and I enjoyed keeping up with his doings and goings-on. Now he’s gone … forever.

There have been many others. I won’t bore you with details on them. Just know, though, that as someone who continues to enjoy relatively good health, I am acutely aware that time has this way of sneaking up on everyone.

A longtime friend and former colleague — a fellow with whom I only recently renewed contact — has been fond of reminding us that “no one gets outta here alive.”

Well, there you go. The clock keeps ticking. It is relentless and it shows no mercy. None! Ever!

I will continue to live by own belief that getting old surely beats the daylights out of the alternative.


How did he fall so far?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

When historians write the final chapter of this era — if that is possible — they will be challenged to explain how a former New York mayor fell so far from grace and plunged head first into the dustbin of history.

Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law in New York. Why? Because he has fomented The Big Lie about the 2020 presidential election, contending without a shred of evidence that the disgraced former president was booted from office as a result of phony electoral theft.

It does boggle my noggin how Giuliani has become such a laughingstock.

NY Court Suspends Rudy Giuliani From Practicing Law Over Trump Lies | Common Dreams News

He was NYC mayor when terrorists struck at the nation on 9/11. He stood tall and proud as the leader of a city grieving over the horrendous events of that day. Time magazine named him its Person of the Year in 2001. Let us not forget, too, that he also once was a hard-charging federal prosecutor who took down a number of mob bosses.

That was many lifetimes ago. He has plummeted downhill ever since.

Now he is known as the promoter of lies. He has lent his voice to efforts to overthrow our democratic process.

I do not condone a single thing this individual has said about the election, its integrity or the Big Lie he continues to keep alive along with the disgraced former POTUS. I only lament how someone many of us once admired has become such caricature, a cartoonish loon has sidled up next to someone with no understanding of the government he took an oath to defend and protect.

Will this legal suspension lead to disbarment? It is quite possible, if not probable. Given how far Rudy Giuliani has fallen, the legal profession would benefit from his removal from its ranks.

Time makes Person of Year pick … sigh

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I’ll be candid: Time magazine’s selection for Person of the Year is not the choice I wanted the venerable publication to make.

It’s not that I object strenuously with Time naming President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris as its Person of the Year. It is that I wanted the mag to honor an entire category of human beings: those on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus … namely the first responders, health care workers, educators. Those folks are society’s heroes and they earned the honor of Person of the Year.

But that’s just me, I suppose.

As for the president- and vice president-elect, they indeed made history. They defeated the most corrupt, amoral, venal and disgraceful presidential administration in U.S. history. They did so convincingly. Joe Biden deserves kudos for making history by selecting Kamala Harris, the first black and first candidate of South Asian descent to run with him as vice president.

They both acquitted themselves well on the campaign trail. They have rolled up 81 million votes en route to a solid Electoral College majority. Biden and Harris are assembling a first-class team with which to govern.

In some ways, the Time choice is the politically safe choice. Winning presidents (and this case winning VPs) often get the Person of the Year nod.

However, the pandemic is the overwhelming story of 2020. The chief element of that story, in my view, has been the heroism displayed in hospital emergency rooms, ICU rooms and the bedsides of COVID-19 patients; moreover, there have been heroes abounding in our classrooms as educators seek to teach our children amid the threat of exposure to a potentially deadly virus.

And this heroism is a worldwide phenomenon.

So, I’ll accept Time’s choice simply as the editors’ call. It’s not one I would have made but it’s their magazine, their decision.

Just to be clear — one more time: I am delighted that we’re about to welcome Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our new president and vice president.

Fauci threatened for telling us the truth … amazing!

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Anthony Fauci might possess the strongest resolve of anyone in the United States of America.

Time magazine has declared Dr. Fauci to be one of its People of the Year for 2020. Do ya think?

The Hill newspaper reported: “I mean I’ve been doing this for 36 years as director of the (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases).” I’ve seen disagreements. I’ve seen political issues get in the way over the 36 years, but I’ve never seen the extent of the divisiveness which leads to hostility against public health measures,” he continued.

Fauci revealed earlier this year that he and his family, including his daughters, have received harassment over complaints about his public health recommendations during the pandemic, including wearing face masks or coverings. 

Let’s just ponder this for a brief moment.

Donald Trump brings an esteemed infectious disease expert aboard to help run a coronavirus response effort. Then he dismisses the expert’s advice, his wisdom and his call for caution. The dismissal brings out the lunatics among us who do things such as what Fauci has described. His daughters are harassed? Their lives are threatened? Is this for real?

And yet the good doctor continues to deliver the news we need to hear, eschewing the tendency to tell us what we — and Donald Trump — want to hear.

Does he deserve the recognition that Time is bestowing? Absolutely!

We do not yet know who will receive the coveted Person of the Year honor from Time. My own sense is that it should go to those on the front line of this fight against COVID-19: nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters and educators.

Somewhere in all of that we can find a spot to insert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s name for him to receive the high honor and respect he has earned, not just for this fight but for all he has done to educate us about the danger of infectious disease.

2020: Year of the First Responder

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am pretty sure we all agree on this point: 2020 sucks out loud.

This calendar year has been one of the most eventful, consequential — and miserable — years many of us can remember. Our grandparents no doubt recall the Great Depression and then World War II. Then we had 1968, which brought the Vietnam War to a head and those terrible political assassinations.

But this year stands alone. The pandemic has killed hundreds of thousands of human beings. Now we have the fires that are sweeping through the three Pacific Coast states.

All of this is my way of saying that 2020 surely must be deemed The Year of the First Responder.

Heroes walk among us. They are the nurses and doctors who are tending to coronavirus patients. These nurses and doctors also are doubling as surrogate loved ones for patients who die alone; they cannot have their actual loved ones near them because of the highly infectious nature of the coronavirus, leaving the handholding to the medical pros who put their own lives on the line just tending to their patients.

Now comes the fires. The firefighters and police officers are plunging into the Hell on Earth in California, Oregon and Washington. They are running toward the flames. They are flying aircraft into the choking smoke. They are hugging victims of the fire, trying as best they can to lend comfort in a time of unspeakable tragedy.

Oh, we also have that presidential election coming up. Who’ll win it? Well, whether it’s Joe Biden or Donald Trump, the editors at Time magazine need not worry about naming one of them the magazine’s Person of the Year. They are playing second fiddle to the heroes in our hospitals, in our school classrooms, in our forests and our neighborhoods.

We all want the circumstances that are making this the most memorable year to end. I happen to stand in awe of those who are answering the call to help their fellow men and women in distress.

Stand tall, heroes.

They have become the face of persecuted journalists

Talk about an inspired choice.

Time magazine has unveiled its “Persons of the Year.” The lead “person of the year” is none other than Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S. resident who was tortured and killed by his countrymen in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Because he gave his life reporting on and commenting on the issue of free political expression, Khashoggi has joined a group of other journalists to earn the honor bestowed by Time on those who had the most impact on the world — for better or worse.

Khashoggi, who’s been in the news quite a bit of late, has become the face and the voice of persecuted journalists around the world.

They are “The Guardians” saluted by Time. Oh, there are others worth recognizing, too.

Such as the five employees of The Capital in Annapolis, Md., who were gunned down by a madman. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters also are the faces of persecuted journalists. The editor of the Capital made it clear that “We’re going to publish a newspaper” the next day. So they did. They carried on in memory of their slain colleagues.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quyhn, a Vietnamese blogger, has been calling out her government’s repression of human rights. She goes by the pen name of Mother Mushroom. She was taken captive and sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, this brave woman of letters was released. She, too, is the face and the voice of persecuted journalists.

Time magazine has held up the cudgel for journalists who seek to report on the affairs of the world, their communities and to tell the truth. They aren’t enemies of any people, although it is clear that Jamal Khashoggi was the enemy of the autocratic government that had him tortured and murdered. The CIA has put the finger on Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who denies it. Donald Trump has sided with the prince and has disrespected the work of the CIA.

I am going to stand with Time magazine and with the men and women who have fought for — and died for — the cause of reporting the truth to their audience.

Anyone can be Person of the Year, correct?

It occurs to me that if Donald John Trump can say anything he wants, then so can the rest of us .

The president of the United States tweeted something this weekend about Time magazine considering him to be Person of the Year for 2017. Trump got the award in 2016 by virtue of his being elected president. I get why Time would bestow Person of the Year honors.

But the president didn’t really get a call from Time, the magazine’s editors apparently said. That doesn’t matter, though. Trump isn’t taking it back. He doesn’t do that kind of thing. I’m getting the idea that the nation the man was elected to lead is beginning to accept his lies. Pfft! What’s the point of calling him out?

Is he the only American who can get away with this kind of thing? Gosh, I think I’ll give this a try.

Time wanted to name me as its Person of the Year. Why little ol’ me? I guess it’s because I’m just a regular guy. I’ve been married to one woman for more than 46 years. We produced two sons. They both are successful in their respective careers. We have a lovely granddaughter. We’re getting prepared to move — hopefully soon — to relocate closer to where she lives with her parents and her two older brothers.

I think that earns me Person of the Year honors. Don’t you think? Maybe my wife and I could share it, given that our accomplishments are a joint effort. How does that sound?

Did the magazine editors actually call me? What if I say they did? They won’t dispute it. Therefore, could I get away with making it up, just like the president did?

I think I could. I just have.

Narcissist in chief is at it again

Donald John Trump Sr.’s narcissism knows no boundaries. No limits. It is beyond belief.

The narcissist in chief has tweeted out a patently ridiculous message, alleging that Time magazine offered to considering him as its 2017 Person of the Year, but that Trump declined.

He didn’t want to sit down for an interview, he said. “No thanks,” he concluded. Time declined to comment specifically on this idiocy, except to say that it doesn’t reveal its selection until it’s announced.

The then president-elect won the honor in 2016, calling it a “tremendous honor” at the time. This year, according to the World’s Most Notable Narcissist, he doesn’t have time for it.

I almost let this matter go without making any comment. Indeed, there’s really little I feel compelled to say about it, except that the president of the United States has yet again embarked on another idiotic — and quite possibly fabricated — journey of self-aggrandizement.

I believe this is what one might call “fake news.”

Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ is a no-brainer


Here it comes: a good word about Donald J. Trump.

Time magazine’s Person of the Year is the 45th president of the United States. When the magazine’s editor in chief, Nancy Gibbs, was asked this morning whether this was a difficult choice, she said that it wasn’t. It was an easy choice, given how Trump managed to win the presidency by breaking virtually every known rule of conventional political wisdom.

I happen to agree with this choice.


I’m not going to get into the discussion about how the magazine has named some pretty despicable characters as its Person of the Year. They include, say, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin (twice).

It’s fairly customary for the magazine to honor newly elected presidents for this honor. So it’s no surprise that the newest elected president would get the nod as Person of the Year.

Look long and hard at virtually every aspect of Trump’s winning campaign: his lack of “ground game,” his insults, his bizarre behavior, his apparent complete ignorance of the principles of governance, the fact that the presidency is the first office he’s ever sought.

It’s good to examine what so many so-called “experts” said about his chances of being nominated, let alone being elected. He was dismissed as a joke, a circus act, a carnival barker, a huckster.

Here he now stands, ready to assume the role of commander in chief and head of state of the greatest nation on Earth.

All of that, by itself, qualifies this guy as Person of the Year.

Gibbs was right to say this was an easy call.

Now we’ll await this man’s ascension to the highest office in the land and we’ll see whether he has learned anything about the job he is about to do.

Passage of time brings more loss


When I was a good bit younger I used to chuckle at old folks who would look at newspaper obituary pages in search of their friends’ names.

Many of those old folks would joke about whether their own names were in there. “Good, not there yet,” they might say.

It’s a rite of passage. It becomes something that everyone goes through, I guess.

I’m now getting up in age myself. I don’t see the newspaper regularly, but when I do I find myself gravitating to the obit page to find names and faces I know. Sadly, those names and faces show up with increasing regularity.

Yes, time does bring about the loss of friends. And family.


I received a call this morning from my sister informing me that my wonderful Aunt Libby had died.

Elizabeth Kanelis is the fourth of my father’s generation to pass. Dad was the first, followed by his brother Tom and his sister Eileen. Libby has joined them, leaving only three of the seven siblings still with us.

Libby was one of a kind. She worked for many years for Ma Bell, aka the “Phone Company.” She left there and went back to college in her late 30s. She earned her degree — which gave her and all of us a great deal of pride — and then taught English to high school students in Portland, Ore., before retiring from that job.

She was married once — briefly — to a guy named Chuck.

I have a lot of memories of Libby while growing up. I feel compelled to share a couple of them here.

Libby was a great athlete. She played in a women’s semi-pro softball league; I’m guessing it was when she was in her 20s.

I used to play catch with her. If she came to our house, of if we gathered at my grandparents’ house, we usually found time to toss a ball around.

Whether throwing a baseball or football, Libby did not throw it “like a girl.” I’m telling you, she had an arm. She could throw a baseball as hard as any guy I ever saw and the spiral on a football she threw was tight enough to make any college or pro football player proud. She maintained her athletic prowess even as I became a teenager.

We played golf on occasion. And, oh by the way, she was no duffer.

Libby could be outspoken and blunt. That was part of her charm. She also was self-deprecating and had no trouble making fun of herself.

I didn’t hear this directly, but I got it from my other sister, who related a story Libby told about herself to my sis and her then-quite young daughter. She was talking about a cruise she had taken with one of her sisters, who — Libby said — had met this “special friend” aboard ship. My other aunt and this gentleman spent time on the ship enjoying the sights and, oh, you know …

As my sister told me the story, she remembered her daughter asking Libby, “Aunt Libby, did you meet anyone special on the ship, too?” Oh sure, Libby said. “I managed to bag a bellhop in the boiler room.”

My sister and I cannot tell that story to this day without busting out in hysterical laughter.

I took some time a few weeks ago to see Libby. I flew to Portland for the purpose of seeing her. She had suffered a stroke not long ago. Her memory wasn’t good. She had trouble constructing sentences and then uttering them. But when I walked into her room, I was heartened that she recognized me right away.

We had a wonderful visit. I just sat there and looked at her, recalling a long-ago time.

Yes, it happens to everyone. Our time on Earth comes to an end eventually.

I just wanted to introduce you to a member of my family who I loved very much and who has left me with many cherished memories.

The passage of time has this way of triggering those thoughts, too.